News Bites

The European Union won’t create “a Guantanamo Bay for migrants” in North Africa, said the EU Commissioner for migration, Dimitris Avramopoulos. The bloc plans to set up asylum processing centers at its external borders under a future common immigration policy.

Pharmaceutical companies in Germany paid €605 million to doctors and clinics in 2017, pharma’s self-regulatory organization FSA said. While expenditures are up, fewer recipients agree to be identified.

Donald Trump’s tariffs on European steel and aluminum go “against all logic and history,” EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said, adding that the EU will do whatever is needed to safeguard itself.

VW Truck & Bus could raise more than €6 billion when it lists on the stock market, CEO Andreas Renschler said. An IPO could take place in the summer of 2019. (Manager Magazin)

Allianz refuted a report saying the insurer would cut at least 5,000 jobs in Germany. Automation process might lead to job losses in the future, but the number was fiction.

At a meeting with Jordan’s king Hussein al Abdullah in Amman, Angela Merkel said Iran displayed “aggressive tendencies” in Syria and Yemen, where “we urgently need solutions.”

Siemens plans to reduce the number of businesses servicing industrial customers to three from five. The engineering firm said it continued to develop its strategy, but it had not made any decisions. (Reuters)

E.ON boss Johannes Teyssen said he would relinquish his post at the utility at the end of 2021, when his term expires. (Manager Magazin)

VW will invest an additional $100 million in Californian startup QuantumScape, making it the biggest automotive shareholder. The two companies will form a joint venture to produce solid-state batteries by 2025.

The European Commission plans to decide by August 24 whether to approve the $80-billion Linde-Praxair merger, two weeks later than previously announced.

Germany announced it will reduce its third-quarter bond issues by €6 billion thanks to higher tax proceeds. German debt prices rose and yields fell.

German blue-chip executives earned 10 times as much in 2017 compared with 1987, making €4.4 million on average. Their annual pay was 58 times a company’s average salary, whereas the ratio was 15 in 1987. (WirtschaftsWoche)

The CEO of Beiersdorf, Stefan Heidenreich, will not renew his term next year and might leave the maker of Nivea skin cream earlier. Executive Stefan De Loecker will be his deputy as of July 1. The stock fell 4%.

Audi’s suspended boss, Rupert Stadler, will remain in jail. Prosecutors weren’t satisfied with their first interrogation of the executive, who is suspected of influencing witnesses in a Dieselgate investigation.

The US administration’s controversial treatment of immigrants crossing the Mexican border could be a turning point and a serve as a wake-up call for Americans, former FBI head James Comey told Handelsblatt.

Family-owned companies are displeased with Angela Merkel’s fourth administration, giving it grades between “barely satisfactory” and “fail.” The government, 100 days in office on Friday, is lacking a long-term vision, managers said.

Small companies will be able to raise more money – up to €8 million instead of only €100,000 – through a stock sale without the usual elaborate paperwork, according to a German draft law.

The number of Germans earning more than €1 million annually rose almost 10% to 19,000 in 2014, according to the latest government data. On average, they earned €2.7 million and paid €895,000 in income taxes.

Deutsche Bank’s US operations might again fail a US stress test, analysts said. It could further damage its reputation and weigh on the bank’s stock price.

The European Court of Justice ruled Germany has done too little to reduce high levels of nitrates, a fertilizer, in groundwater. Nitrate is a health risk when it turns into nitrite or carcinogenic nitrosamines.

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VW boss Herbert Diess has tried to poach managers at his former employer, BMW, to find a new head for VW subsidiary Audi, Handelsblatt learned. BMW development head Klaus Fröhlich and others weren’t interested.

A likely trade war between the US and China prompted Daimler to issue a profit warning, sending its stock down 4%. Higher costs due to new EU emissions tests, a recall of diesel cars and lower demand in Latin America will also weigh on earnings.

Germany has earned €2.9 billion since 2010 thanks to the financial bailout of Greece. German and other central banks bought up Greek debt as part of the rescue, earning them billions in interest payments. (DPA)

US cloud data firm Teradata sued SAP for theft of trade secrets and copyright infringement in developing its HANA database product. SAP reserved comment.

Deutsche Bank settled a long-running dispute with New York regulators for $205 million for currency trading violations. (Reuters)

European Commission President Juncker warned ahead of a special EU summit on migration that individual country efforts would be ineffective and would damage European integration.

Germany’s automakers association VDA denied a Wall Street Journal report that they told US Ambassador Richard Grenell to propose to President Trump a removal of tariffs on autos by both the EU and the US.

Dour politician of the day Crime tweets If we can’t confront President Trump about his tweeted lies on German crime statistics, at least BBC Newsnight can poke holes in a German far-right politician’s allegations. Beatrix von Storch didn’t have much fun on Tuesday night. But then again, does she ever? The AfD lawmaker is partially right that while violent crime slipped in 2017, the murder rate rose 8.6%. But that was in part because 72 murders committed earlier in the decade were solved — they were committed by a single German caregiver, not immigrants, as Ms. von Storch likes to allege. In fact, the percentage of non-German perpetrators fell 13.9% in 2017.
Quote of the day Ms. von der Leyen goes to Washington And by “sidelines” Ms. von der Leyen means President Trump and by “field” she means Germany. Germany’s defense minister was in Washington D.C. on Wednesday and stopped for a photo op outside The Donald’s house. She said Germany’s contribution to NATO is just fine, defying his criticism, and noted that Germany had always been a “reliable” partner when it came to helping in crisis-torn regions.
Poison of the day Lowering nitrate levels The European Court of Justice on Thursday said Germany isn’t doing enough to combat nitrate levels in groundwater. The ruling clears the way for the European Commission to fine Europe’s largest economy if the levels don’t diminish. The main source of the contamination: agricultural fertilizers. But don’t worry: Germany’s water is still safe to drink. So that’s no excuse to drink more beer instead. Source: DPA
Graph of the day Tense teutons Outsiders may think football is Germany’s national sport but insiders know the favorite German pastime is worrying. What Germans worry about depends on the zeitgeist. A few years ago it was immigration. But right now it’s living conditions, as gentrification and a real-estate bubble send housing prices soaring. Politicians, are you listening?

Bad news bearish

Deutsche Bank stressing out about US stress tests

Germany’s largest bank seems doomed to fail the review by US regulators, causing further damage to its reputation and loss of key personnel.

Equity Tokens

Blockchain startup Neufund to debut equity token offerings

Berlin-based blockchain startup Neufund wants to revolutionize the way companies raise money but it may fall afoul of German banking regulations.

Editors’ Pick

Can’t please everyone

Merkel-Macron EU deal makes Paris happy but angers Bavarian allies

The Franco-German compromise may break the EU’s deadlock on asylum and euro-zone reform. But it spells even more trouble at home for the chancellor, given the resistance of the CSU’s conservative hardliners.

Dive In

Thwarted plot

First planned biological bomb attack on Germany confirmed

Alarm bells are ringing in Germany after security officials learned more about a Tunisian's efforts to create ricin and use the deadly substance for a terrorist attack.

Jailhouse blues

Audi CEO to testify to German prosecutors on Dieselgate

Audi's CEO Rupert Stadler is “ready to talk” after being arrested in connection with the emissions-cheating scandal. Meanwhile, the company's executive board is deliberating his replacement.

Pricing Snippets

EU copyright decision could change the internet’s sharing culture

EU lawmakers are about to make a landmark decision on copyright reforms that some critics see as an assault on the internet.

Daily briefing

Europe has a serious shortage of heroes on migration

Meet Berlin's new ambassador in Washington, DC – and speaking of tough jobs, who's going to take on Audi? Here's our Daily Briefing for June 20th, 2018 and it includes some animal rescue.

Bend it like Beckenbauer

The German World Cup squad shows a country lost in transition

Since 1954, German soccer has mirrored and tracked the state of Germany as a whole. And right now, that is cause for worry, Handelsblatt’s senior international correspondent muses.

shuttle diplomacy

Germany’s new envoy to US has her work cut out for her

Emily Haber is a seasoned diplomat and ready to take on the escalating tensions between Washington and Berlin.

Keep the money flowing

A German ‘Iran Bank’ could save the nuclear deal

Creating a private German Iran Bank would keep investment flowing into Iran, so that Tehran sticks to its side of the nuclear deal. The bank could even be named Deutsche.

Chinese influence

Berlin in last-ditch effort to thwart Chinese stake in 50Hertz

Chinese grid operator SGCC has signed a deal to buy 20 percent of German grid network 50Hertz — but the German government still wants to stop it.

norwegian would

Norwegian could be a costly flirt for Lufthansa

The airline industry is abuzz with speculation that Lufthansa is considering a deal with Norwegian. But this is one takeover battle that might be better left to the competition.

Racing lower

German business demands Trump-style tax cuts

Companies urgently need to lighten their tax burden to defend the country’s competitive position, a leading business group argues. Germany risks alienating the very firms on which its finances so heavily rely.

Sense or censorship

Banning talk shows won’t stop the rise of the AfD

A state-funded cultural lobby group has proposed suspending talk shows on German TV, because their discussions about refugees supposedly boosted the far-right party AfD. It’s a preposterous idea.

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